May 31, 2013

La Tata & the UHF America’s Health Rankings Senior Report

*This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and United Health Foundation, pero como siempre- as always, the story and expressed opinions are BB's.  

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!

Do you remember my post about the S Sisters? Bueno, they've once again danced into BB's life joining my grandmother, La Tata and my Hispanicize friends United Health Care .  Thankfully she's back home and for being 90 or 92 she's doing remarkably well, however the scare did prompt me to read the UHF America's Health Rankings Senior Report more diligently than I would have otherwise and I found many points in it valid and part of our daily lives with La Tata. Go ahead and click on the link- excellent information in there.

In the report they mention tobacco use, inactivity, alcohol consumption, and poor diet, as some of the contributing factors in bad health in seniors.  Here we are lucky, La Tata rarely smoked, and though she does like her wine from time to time and I have to challenge her to walk a little more, as I mentioned, she's remarkably well for her age, and as far as poor diet... please, she's Cubana.  So on those counts we're doing well. There is one area however where Babushka must battle daily with her, and it's one topic Latinos don't speak of too often and I think that may be part of the problem.

Having been one of 12 children, an entrepreneur, a world traveler, La Tata was not ready to live a slower and more isolated life.  As in most modern households, everyone has work or studies outside the home and La Tata would find herself alone for more hours as the years went by; she fell into a heavy depression.  To say BB was scared and saddened when I saw her like this a year ago is an understatement.  It's not age that makes the old act old, it's the frustration of not being able to do what they used to do, which then turns to feelings of helplessness and being unneeded.  They lose social contact because of embarassment - in La Tata's case she doesn't like to go to parties because she wouldn't want to show up in "old lady shoes" which are the only ones that she's comfortable in.  How do we combat this?

As a family we make sure to call her daily, visit at least weekly, and make sure she knows she's still a very valued and special part of our lives.  Of course having the great,great grandchildren give her giant hugs and kisses over the phone lights up her disposition instantly.

Taking her out works wonders too.  
Nobody likes to be cooped up in the house all the time and in La Tata's case, the louder and more festive the place, the better it is.  
For some unexplicable reason she's always in better spirits and health when she's "de Farandula". 

Cuba Nostalgia- she ♥♥♥ this! 

Special Occasions
Memorial Day & with her son going out to eat for her birthday

Let them Lead and be who they used to be.

La Tata leading the way to do some grocery shopping,
getting a perm and then her nails done.

Make sure they laugh at least one good belly laugh a day.

How'd you think I came up with JU SO FONII !!!??

Show them they're needed, vital and still useful.

La Tata will show me how to play Spanish Cards and help me w/my Spanish whilst I read outloud.
Note: To counteract all the news, programas escandalosas, y novelas, I pick a book with positive affirmations/messages.

But most of all, show them they are loved and not alone.

Rinquincaya "loaning" his best friend to La Tata so she wouldn't have to be alone and afraid in the hospital. 

 From the report:  "Older Hispanics (28.2%) were less likely to rate their health as excellent or very good than were older Whites (42.8%) or Older Asians (35.3%) 

Hispanic older adults are expected to become the largest/ethnic minority of those aged 65 or older by 2019.

Now is a critical time to study senior health at the population level because we know that America's senior population will grow by more than 50% in the next 15 years and that Americans are living longer but sicker lives."

Bueno, I don't know about the stats, or the other Older Hispanics, but if La Tata lives to 2019 we will be blessed, and if she lives another 15 years- 
Babushka's bottling up her DNA!!

; )

Enjoy your elders now, help them and you live longer, more productive and enjoyable lives.
The memories & love never grow old.

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

*This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and United Health Foundation, pero expressed opinions are BB's. 

May 29, 2013

Looks like she'll be here to turn 91 or 93... La Tata's back home.

On June 20, 2012 this was originally posted as Cubanos, Comida, y Chistes- La Tata's 90th?  Thankfully she's back home after her hospital "visit" or "tiempo" as she calls it, as in "time" = prison time.  heje  She's definitely a handful and still spittin' fire, but I guess that's why she's done so much in her life.  In honor of her and the many requests to know more about her, here is her 90 or 92nd bday party.  

On Saturday our family celebrated La Tata's birthday.  From a family of 12 children, La Tata is the sole survivor.  That, and the fact that she's much loved and just turned 90 made it a full house.  Imagínate, get that many Cubans together...

Master of Ceremonies was Nicanor Gonzalez,
 La Tata's first cousin on both mother's and father's side.

What can I say- it was a very small town. 

Nica was chosen because he's the chief of chistes (jokes) and an orator extraordinaire. 
 PLUS he's the one who's known La Tata the longest and is her best sparing partner. 

Among La Tata's many accomplishments is the well known fact that she had my father when she was 5.

Truly- otherwise how could she have been 29 yrs old for so long?

; )

During his homenaje he announced that we were all there under false pretenses. 
La Tata was in fact 92 years old, not 90 as she claimed. 

 Let the sparing begin!!!


 " ¿A esta edad me voy a quitar años?"  
"At this age I'm going to take off years, lie about my age?"

"La costumbre Tata, la costumbre."  "Habit Tata, it's habit."

Due to the reputation of both, we didn't know who to believe, but in reality it didn't matter.  We were family, together, having fun. We danced, squeezed babies and caught up on each other's lives. Que?? JU SO FONII!!! No, not everyone has Feibu y Tweety.

Besides, as I said before- get that many Cubans together and you're gonna have


Close up of the cake.  There were 2 other banquet tables filled with food.


Being Dignified with our Must Have Fans

Dignified? Who are we kidding?!?!

but most of all-



After returning home, I asked La Tata what was the best part of the day.  "Well... it was such a wonderful day. The family all together, the food, the presents... but if I had to pick one thing, I'd say the best part of the gathering was it was for my birthday- not my wake."   ahuh  now you know where I get it from.

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

* 2013 - This year will be a more quiet (as quiet as a group of Cubans-especially family, can be) get together.  Just my trio, their children, my brother and myself to celebrate La Tata's bday.  Considering her recent hospital stay we thought it better- not that she agrees w/us, but we thought it would be better...  ok si, read that not enough time to plan a big party.

; )  

May 25, 2013

La Tata- Her Story

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!!

This post was originally written on 9/20/11.  My querida abuela La Tata is now 90 or 92 , to be 91 or 93 this June (though her papers say in October) is currently in the hospital emergency ward for massive heart pains.  BB believes our date of homecoming is written, however there's no reason not to dance happily on the way, so please send positive vibes and lots of love to her.  Hopefully I'll be in Miami soon and I can share with her the warmth y'all are sending.

La Tata- Tatarabuela, Great Great grandmother of my grandchildren, Great grandmother of my trio, grandmother to Babushka, mother of mi Padre. Wow- that's a lot of mothering and a lot of love.

But if you think this was a typical stay at home kind of mothering - JU SO FONII !!!

Born in Cuba, in the Province of Oriente, she was the second youngest of twelve. Always with fire and liking the finer things, she was nicknamed "La Faraona" (the Pharoah) by her siblings; little did they know how well that was going to help them all. Her take charge "it's gotta be done" attitude helped her survive and succeed in a life that seems almost made for TV.

In a place and time when women didn't work outside the home, she was a single mom raising her son by selling insurance policies door to door. Her tenacity captured the heart and hand of a Count, but when he became too strict with her boy she kicked the Count to the curb. Sensing the political unrest on the island , she refused to let the new government indoctrinate her teen, so she left her beloved family and headed to the US- just her and her son. Arriving in New York she found the immigrants life, working in factories and learning the language, but she also found love. Marrying "Nonno", a handsome Sicilian with a talent for cooking, they scrimped together enough to open a restaurant in The Village. Thanks to their hard work and love of family, they were able to bring most of her siblings and their families from Cuba.

But as in all good novelas, the union was not to last, and though it was true love they had to go their separate ways. By this time they had moved to Miami, he had opened another restaurant and she decided she wanted music and distraction- so she opened a nightclub. Again, ahead of her time, in a man's world, she was the owner of the club, while wearing long sequinced gowns with a gun holder under the plumes. It was Miami in the 80's, Cocaine Cowboys had the bucks, but they didn't get to ride in her saloon.

Didn't I tell you this would be a great mini series ?!?!

Bueno, para no cansarte, she made it through the 80's and now is almost in her 90's. Legally papers say she's 87 pero en realidad they didn't keep the best of records in her little town in Cuba and she's 2 years older. ¿Viste? She's still living a story- and I'm grateful to be there to listen.

Babushka Besos a todos. Cuidensen

* Thanks again for all your well wishes and love- y'all really are Beautifuls.

May 21, 2013

En Resumen- #Hispz13 Whats, Why, & Will BB Go Again?

Sooooo.... BB's written 10 posts about Hispanicize 2013- counting 3 posts on the Noche de Diseños pre event.  Wow and Woah. Now for those of you who missed the posts let me try to quickly summarize them. Belonging to the category-The Whats.

The goodies and the 1st nite- setting the tone of the event.

SOME of the food & the fun

Learning & panels taking place

The biz side of Blogging

The fun side of sponsors & BB's attempt to recapture her days of song

Giving for the Greater Good- Sponsors with heart

a post that in spirit encompasses a bit of each of the prior posts
w/special emphasis on the colors we choose to see & use in our lives

Ok My Beautifuls, the "official" Description- The Why

"Hispanicize 2013 brings brands, media, marketers,celebrities, filmmakers, innovators and bloggers together in a unique creative environment focused on ideas and best practices.  The event is a launch pad for creative endeavors, new products, technologies, marketing campaigns, films, books and more targeting Latinos."

Pero BB & past attendees know the real reason-


Getting to know new favs-

Gabriel Reyes                       Maya Anjelica Murillo

Meeting Blogasphere Friends in Person

Visiting w/"old friends" & Celebrating their Wins

Alba Alonso, BellaVida Letty , Ezzy Guerrero-Languzzi, Adriana Iris Boatwright 

Adriana Martin, Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz 

Some winning moments:

Nicole Torres w/her Lowe's GC Win
Gabriel Gonzalez, songwriter/musician speaking & giving his CD to Emilio Estefan
Linda Ponder receiving Congrats on her Radio Shack Karaoke Win
pssssttt, Linda- mujer you missed your calling!

More FUN w/Friends

Heather Lopez, Leanette Fernandez Martinez, Jose Resendez, BB, Myrah Falco Duque, AC Sanchez

Colegiando con Celebrities

BB must interject a note here. 
At Hispz12 BB attended a panel they were in and darned if they didn't come up to me this year and say "Como estas?"  These Cubanitos are very down to earth and make Babushka super, super proud. They were able to use our ways of finding the humor in life and turned it  into a financial win.  

Siguen Bailando Muchachos- Que pa' ya va La BB!!

; )

Soooooo.... en resumen....
Will BB Go Again to Hispanicize??


There can only be one answer to that.


Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

p.s.  The fotos of Maya & Los Pichy Boys are via the Hispanicize Feibu page
- the one of Linda & BB were courtesy of Radio Shack.

May 19, 2013

Almost Full Circle-

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!!

Before I started my Hispz13 posts I mentioned the Sherwin Williams initiative Colores Latinos, Artistas Latinos.  Bueno, since the last post was about sponsors with corazon and the next post is the final recap, BB felt this was the perfect timing for this story.

Throughout Hispanicize 2013, Sherwin Williams sponsored four renowned muralists to "live paint" during the event.  To quote- "We are excited to bring the most brilliant muralists to Hispanicize and have them showcase products like our Emerald Paint line and Purdy brushes and accessories at one of the highest profile Latino events of the year," says Jason Riveiro, multicultural marketing manager at Sherwin Williams Paint Stores Group.  "This is a dynamic way to demonstrate our quality products and our wide-range of color selections."

The four muralists were:

foto courtesy of Hispanicize Feibu page


foto courtesy of Hispanicize Feibu page
foto courtesy of ASPIRA Feibu page


fotos courtesy of Hispanicize Feibu page

Buenisimos right?  But if you thought this was just to showcase the colors and the Latino artists, then My Beautifuls-  JU SO FONII!!!  No, this is where the beloved twofer comes in.  Not only did Sherwin Williams do that, but the proceeds from the silent auction sales of the art were to go to ASPIRA of Florida, Inc.  The vision of ASPIRA of Florida is to "develop a better educated, more community conscious and committed youth". 

"This mission is achieved by providing students with access to education ad leadership development training while emphasizing self-esteem building and cultural pride. Students develop leadership skills and learn the ASPIRA Process of 1) Awareness 2)Analysis and 3)Action."  For more information on this very worthwhile and important non-profit organization you can contact George Cabrera, Pres. and CEO   Feibu page 

Now y'all understand why this post had to be in this order verdad?  

Colorful, giving, showcasing Latino talent.  

BB w/ASPIRA Pres & VPres

Ok, Si... That could describe Sherwin Williams too.

; )

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

P.S.  This was not a sponsored post, just a story BB wanted to share.  
However, should Sherwin Williams ever decide to sponsor Babushka that too will be shared. 

p.p.s.  The Sherwin Williams Latino Feibu page

May 15, 2013

With ♥ - Con Corazon at Hispanicize 2013

There are many aspects of a blogger's association with sponsors. The first post BB wrote on Hispanicize 2013 was about pitching- that's the body, the physical.  The second post was the fun, the song, the soul.  But it's incomplete without the heart.  As Babushka's said before, it must be "with heart, from the heart."  This post is to thank the sponsors who showed their caring side, the corazon of giving to others because they can and believe sincerely that they should.

To believe that one's dreams are attainable, and that one is worthy of those dreams-That is Empowerment. Y eso is what The Adelante Movement tries to instill in Latinas.  This year we were privileged to hear from "Latina Living Legends".  Believe BB when I say this title given to these marvelous mujeres was not in vain.  They all came from humble backgrounds, faced adversities and made national/international names for themselves. Everyone in the audience was in awe and in love with all the ladies.  Quee?? JU SO FONII!!! Of course I'll show who they were.  

In a future post Babushka will get into more details & pics, but for now 
you can read the fabulous post by mi amiga Ezzy Guerrero-Languzzi who graciously let BB use this picture.

This program is geared to helping young Latinos strive for a better future through education.  

"the Ford Driving Dreams through Education grants offer LULAC Councils the opportunity to develop projects 
that address high school dropout prevention in the Latino community"

Next, a little closer to home.  

In memory and honor of Hispanicize co-founder Louis Pagan, an educational fund was started for his two girls.  Not a dry eye was left in the house when P & G announced it would match the starting $5,000 donation for the children.  The full article is here. Donations are still accepted and greatly appreciated- .

The last sponsor Babushka will thank follows the belief BB has in her daily mid day Gigasecond of Gratitude.  There is something bigger than us the individual, call that what you may, and amidst all the commotion and craziness of a conference it's nice to be reminded of this.  Quietly and sincerely it declares- 

I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others.

Especially touching to BB was the video w/Scott Hamilton sharing his story.

"The only true disability in life is a bad attitude."

And isn't it nice to know there are sponsors who believe this

con ♥?  

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

May 12, 2013

♪♫Singing with the Sponsors♪♫

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!!  

Ok, last post we danced with the brands, the work of pitching ideas with sponsors- this time we sing and have fun with sponsors.  
Have a looksie and enjoy la musica. ♪♫

Target Lounge

As I mentioned in my first Hispz13 post, there were VIP's all over the place, and you can't get much more VIP than Emilio Estefan.  Joining forces with Target, they had us dancing and listening to the sounds of the Latin Billboards with their #SeHablaMusica campaign via Emilio's newest inspiration- Sound Machine by Monster Headphones.  ESO!!!  The Rhythm is gonna get ya for sure with these!  heje Sorry, couldn't resist that one.

Y sabes what else BB couldn't resist??

Babushka's at 00:19 - 00:21

Seems like I'm not the only one who couldn't resist the fun!!

Now, for those of you who thought I was speaking figuratively about Singing w/the Sponsors-


The Rad Pack at Radio Shack had it going on- mira pa' esto:

Not only did they have the coolest gear to show, they had great prizes.  And of course Babushka tried to win her some. 
That battery Enercell 6000mAh Portable Power Bank was calling to me. 

 Quee?? I didn't!  Oh Si I did!!

Betcha didn't know BB used to do a lot of musical theater did ya? 
Bueno... if you had heard me that night, you still wouldn't have known it.


Too many moons and too many cigarros have gone by, pero ya gotta admit something-

BB can still work it- Gozando con Gusto!!

; )

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

P.S.  Feibu will have more pics of my 1st (and probably last) try at Karaoke.

May 08, 2013

Bailando with the Brands of Hispz13

HolaHolaHola My Beautifuls!!  You wanna hear something amazing I heard and learned from Hispz13?? Brands actually want US to approach them with ideas. Si, they actually said that. Find an idea that's organic to your blog's voice and present it. Quee?? JU SO FONII!!!  But of course BB put forth ideas, 'cause you don't get more organic than Babushka!

Primero, First- to Crest

Don't know if you can read that ad, but they had a fabulous panel stating what they were looking for in a blogging partner.

For my part- here's the pitch BB threw at them.

There are 2 things Latina Abuelas are known for, it's spoiling their grandchildren and always trying to feed them. Especially Sweets. Bueno... why not have a campaign showing Abuelita doing just that with the parent shaking their head in the background.  We then see abuela reading the web (she's a hip old lady) and then seeing it on TV where the stats for toothcare are not good for Hispanics.  Next we see her giving more sweets, but this time giving the child a tube of Crest and a spin toothbrush to use afterwards. Next shot- everybody's smiling overlooking the child while he's brushing.  Good verdad?  They seemed to like it.  P.S. Crest- BB's also an actress and wouldn't mind being the sugar shoving Grandma as well as the creative brains.  Just Sayin' .

Segundo, Second- Swiffer

They've got a real cute campaign going on, "Aprobado por Abuelita".  It's showing how their Swiffer products would be "Approved by Grandma". 

Good, but BB can make it better.  

First off, let's get a Granny with her Groove On!

Put on that Salsa music ♪♫, Swiffers attached to the hips and Watch Out!!
And can't you just see a Babushka Hat made out of Swiffer Dusters and headbanging?  


Truthfully, wouldn't you just love to see that??

And because good things come in 3-

Third, Tercera- United Health Care   UHCLatino 

Russ Bennett VP of Latino Health Solutions UHC Speaking

My friend Amanda of Brandon's Puppy did a great post about this panel.
Their website sounds super because not only is it in English/Spanish, but it has podcasts for those not too net savvy or who just like to hear their information.  This and the poster showing how everyday activites burn calories was what I liked best about the panel. Apparently our culture isn't too much into the exercising/eating healthier- especially the older generations; this made me think of La Tata and I stated that.  At 90 or 92, any attempt of having her walk a little more was met with "Ya pa' que?"  Cuban for "at this stage of my life, whatever for?"  Bueno, you don't get to be that age w/out being a bit feisty so I challenged her to walk just a little bit more each day.  And it worked!!  Mr. Bennett liked the idea so much he said they were going to start podcasts called "Ya pa' que?" w/BB overseeing something or other.  Russ- looking forward to working with you on that one.  Not only will the audience say #JUSOFONII but they'll learn alot on realife ways for healthier living.

What do y'all think?  
Would you like to see these suggestions come to life?  How many would Tweety or Feibu about them if they did?  

Bailando with Brands- go ahead, lead the dance once in awhile.

; )

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.